Spiced up gift-giving Published on November 16, 2016

  • Spicy roasted olives
    Photo by: Mark Holleron

  • Photo by: Mark Holleron

Show up at a party with a nice bottle of wine plus something yummy the host can either put on the table or tuck away to savour later, and you’re sure to be invited again. These olives are really easy to prepare and packed with flavour. The leftover spicy olive oil can be used in pasta sauces, soups or as a drizzle on pizza.


1 1/2 cups (375 mL) assorted olives with pits
1 large clove garlic, halved
1 lemon
3 small sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) dried thyme leaves
Enough good quality olive oil 
to cover


  • Place olives in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Toss to shake off excess moisture.
  • With a very sharp knife or a vegetable peeler, cut three strips of lemon zest (avoiding the white pith as much as possible), approximately 3 inches (7.5 cm) by 1/2 inch (1.25 cm).
  • In a 2 cup/500 mL canning jar, place a layer of olives.
  • Add a sprig of rosemary, a strip of lemon zest, half a garlic clove and a sprinkle of black pepper, red pepper flakes and thyme.
  • Repeat layers, packing jar fairly tightly but leaving a little air space.
  • Pour olive oil over the olives and seasoning, filling jar to within 1/4 inch
(.5 cm) of the top.
  • Put lids on jars and refrigerate for up to two weeks until ready to roast and serve.
  • To roast, spoon olives into an ovenproof dish, reserving the oil in the jar for other uses, and bake at 350F for 30 minutes, then serve hot.

Paula Roy

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